WHY I CLOSED THE Facebook group

I thought it was only fair to share my reasoning behind closing the all-girls private Facebook group, considering it was such a beloved resource for our community. While it might seem like I made a split decision to close it after my recent trip to NYC, I had been contemplating what to do about this group for quite some time, actually. For about one year the conversation was being had among my team since we literally had to divvy up the hours of the day to ensure someone was always moderating and keeping a watchful eye on the group. It started to become a stressful task since there are over 18,000 people in the group with conversations and new threads happening by the minute, with many of them turning negative, hostile, and to be quite honest, toxic.

At first it didn’t even cross my mind to close it entirely, as I assumed utilizing the tools Facebook offers for groups like this would help keep things in check. We implemented group rules, guidelines, etc. in an effort to ensure the conversations were remaining light-hearted, respectful, positive, and productive. We even enlisted the help of more moderators, who are people I had to pay obviously. Of course I loved the idea of the women using the group as a place to vent, network, seek insight, or share exciting news, but in true Internet fashion, things would escalate quickly depending on the topic.

Aside from the fact that people would talk shit about ME in my own group, I was more bothered about the people being bullied by others in the group. The hypocrisy of attacking other women on the Internet (when we are all supposedly supporting each other) is not lost on me, and quite frankly I was sick and tired of waking up to SOS texts from my team about the group getting out of hand yet again. It set a very negative tone on my day and mindset and knew there was an expiration to how much I could tolerate. The time, money, and energy of maintaining the group was just no longer worth it.

I have been brainstorming ideas on how to keep the resourceful parts of the group alive and have decided to ‘Archive’ the group so people can still browse it without actually being able to comment or post. I appreciate all the insight, relationships, and anecdotes shared in the group so I’m glad this is an option. We are also working on some new community-focused segments for my newsletter and Instagram Stories that you guys are going to love.

The part that makes me sad is the sense of community that is now shut down within the group. I have personally met a good amount of you IRL that have told me you met through the FB group and it made me SO happy. I loved hearing stories like that. Hopefully, those of you that formed real friendships through the group were able to connect elsewhere.

This post isn’t intended to reignite more chaos, I simply felt I owed you guys an explanation. I hope you understand where I’m coming from – I know the 99% of people in the group who are reasonable people DO understand. I’m just at a place in my life where anything that brings me unnecessary stress or drama is not welcome. I will continue to have conversations in my DMs on Instagram, through emails (hi@sivanaylablog.wpengine.com), on this blog, and at in-person events we have planned. I love you guys and appreciate your support, loyalty, and for having my back (most of the time!). As we all grow up together and evolve it sometimes means making decisions that result in letting certain things or people go and that’s okay. Let’s continue to keep the narrative open, honest, and real!